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PTI chief cancels rally in lahore as govt refused to lift section 144

Supporters of opposition politician Imran Khan cheer at a celebration rally in Islamabad, Pakistan November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

PTI chief cancels rally in Lahore as govt refused to lift section 144

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: PTI chief Imran Khan cancelled Sunday’s rally after the caretaker government refused to lift section 144 in the city.

On Sunday, PTI planned a rally in connection with the upcoming elections of the Punjab Assembly on April 30th.

The local administration, nonetheless, slapped section 144, leaving PTI with no other option but to cancel its rally.

PTI chairman said on Twitter that the imposition of Section 144 in Lahore was and meant to sabotage PTI election campaign.

Khan said, “Only Zaman Park has been surrounded by containers & heavy police contingent. Like 8 March, Punjab CM & police want to provoke clashes to file more sham FIRs against PTI leadership for postponing elections.”

Earlier, PTI chairman postponed the rally after clashes between police and his party workers. A PTI worker Ali Bilal alias Zille-Shah lost his life in the rally. PTI blamed police for his killing while Caretaker chief minister of Punjab Syed Mohsin Naqvi said that Ali Bilal died in a car accident.

He refuted PTI’s claims of the death of their worker in clashes with police.

The Caretaker chief minister of Punjab stated this in a press conference in Lahore. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar accompanied CM Mohsin Naqvi. Naqvi said the caretaker government would not succumb to the PTI’s pressure and propaganda.

PTI worker Ali Bilal who died on Wednesday at Zaman Park

On Wednesday PTI leaders blamed Punjab Police for the killing of its worker Ali Bilal. He was famous by his nickname Zille Shah.

The administration of Lahore had imposed Section 144 in the city citing severe security threats for seven days while the PTI had announced a rally on that day.

Consequently, clashes occurred between police and enraged PTI workers which caused injuries to both sides.

However, the PTI chairman cancelled the rally against the backdrop of the imposition of section 144 and clashes.

Chief Minister of Punjab, nevertheless, gave no further details of the incident.

Importantly, the Lahore police have registered a murder case against PTI chief Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhary, and others for their alleged involvement in the murder of a PTI worker Ali Bilal.

PTI announced a rally in support of the judiciary and establishment on Wednesday in Lahore. However, the city’s administration imposed section 144 on the same day.

It led to clashes between police and PTI workers at Zaman Park, outside the residence of the chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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